Split into teams of two, Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, and Azrael have spent the last two weeks scouring the Ghost Sector for Sepulkore’s remaining relics. Armed with the promise that Darkseid’s new War World would save the Ghost Sector from the Source Wall’s collapse, the team planned to usurp control of Sepulkore upon its completion. Unfortunately, there is one thing that Jessica Cruz’s time with the Green Lanterns has helped her to understand:
“… No plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”
Filled with exposition and action, Justice League Odyssey #10 is a good transition issue as the team moves into the second phase of their plan to save the multiverse. Having split the team into pairs, much of this issue’s success relies on the interplay between each of the characters. Ultimately, some of these character moments are a true strength of the issue while others don’t quite hit their mark.
With this Justice League Odyssey #10, Dan Abnett has constructed two sequences that bring Starfire and Azrael’s allegiance into question. The sequence involving Jean-Paul and Jessica Cruz is a true highlight of the issue as it accomplishes its goal perfectly. Azrael’s unwitting attempt to use his commanding voice on Jessica illustrates the character’s lack of control over his new ability. Additionally, the character’s unwillingness to remove his mask lends credence to the notion that something is truly wrong. As a result, it is hard to escape the feeling that Jean-Paul has succumbed to Darkseid’s influence.
Unfortunately, the sequence involving Cyborg and Starfire is less effective in illustrating the character’s fall to Darkseid. Throughout their encounter with the Eskaton, Victor states that Kori isn’t the same person he once knew. In prior issues, Starfire was nearly consumed with rage as she discovered they had been betrayed by her sister. Here I experience some cognitive dissonance as Starfire seems more confident and in control of her newfound abilities. Perhaps it is Abnett’s intention, but Kori’s control and confidence seem to contradict the notion that she has fallen from grace.
My only other gripe with this issue is that there are a few instances of clunky dialogue. As this issue is exposition heavy, the moments where the dialogue doesn’t work stand out. One instance, in which Jessica is explaining why she and Jean-Paul were unable to obtain as many relics as the other pairing, nearly took me out of the issue entirely. This explanation felt out of place as it feels like the team would have had this discussion prior to their intergalactic scavenger hunt. Its inclusion feels as though it is strictly for the reader’s benefit. As a result, this exchange doesn’t feel like an organic part of their conversation.
“… If Kory and Azrael have turned to the Darkseid, I guess our next play will reveal it.”
With Justice League Odyssey #10, Sampere’s artwork has never been more horrifying, and I mean that in a good way. My words cannot accurately paint a picture of the monsters that Jean-Paul and Jessica encounter at their final relic. However, these purple babies with visible brains and monster mouths on their bellies will definitely haunt my dreams for the next few months.
Ultimately, Justice League Odyssey #10 serves as a good transition to the story’s next phase. This is due in large part to interplay between each of the characters. Sequences involving Azrael and Jessica Cruz are the true highlight of this issue as they allude to Jean-Paul’s fall to Darkseid’s influence. Unfortunately, the sequences involving Cyborg and Starfire are interesting but less effective in accomplishing a similar goal.